Slimmest of Silver Linings, To Be Sure

by Michael Auslin

Daniel, delving into the numbers you linked to, it looks like Romney lost Ohio by 103,000 votes, Virginia by 150,000, and Florida by just 74,000 ballots. A slim loss, indeed, but no less profound for that. In aggregate, the so-called “swing states” swung (microsopically) less than the rest of the nation, giving Obama 51.97 percent of their votes, versus the 51.60 percent of national ballots cast. Moreover, Obama’s 2012 vote compared to 2008 declined by less in the swing states (-1.95 percent) than in the rest of the country (-2.09 percent). I don’t know what those numbers mean, other than that the swing states may not be so swingy, after all, and that history could have been changed by fewer than 350,000 votes out of nearly 124 million total. Finally, it’s clear enough that Republicans really need to give up on the quadrennial Pennsylvania Dream.

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